About Us

This website contains information and support for staff in Pupil Referral Units in England and Wales (PRUs) and registered alternative providers including AP Academies & AP Free Schools.

Pupil Referral Units & Alternative Provision

Local authorities are responsible for arranging suitable full-time education for permanently excluded pupils, and for other pupils who – because of illness or other reasons – would not receive suitable education without such provision. This applies to all children of compulsory school age resident in the local authority area, whether or not they are on the roll of a school, and whatever type of school they attend. Full-time education for excluded pupils must begin no later than the sixth day of the exclusion.

While there is no statutory requirement as to when suitable full-time education should begin for pupils placed in alternative provision for reasons other than exclusion, local authorities should ensure that such pupils are placed as quickly as possible.

Any school that is established and maintained by a local authority to enable it to discharge the above duty is known as a pupil referral unit. There is no requirement on local authorities to have or to establish a pupil referral unit, and they may discharge their duties by other means. However, only a local authority can establish a pupil referral unit; although they can only do so after exploring the possibility of opening an AP Academy. Others can establish AP Academies or AP Free Schools.

They support a wide range of school aged young people in centres outside mainstream school but often work closely in partnership with groups of schools and other agencies. These vulnerable young people include those with emerging personality disorders, severe anxiety and depression as well as other mental health and medical needs.

PRUs do an excellent job with 69% of PRUs being graded outstanding or good by OfSTED. Unfortunately much good work is undermined by negative stereotyping and labels in the press like ‘sin bins’.

OFSTED

briefing to inspectors on PRUs 2009

Children and young people who come to PRUs are:

  • pupils excluded from school on a permanent or fixed-term basis (more than 5 days)
  • pregnant schoolgirls and school-age mothers, including sometimes those of sixth form age
  • anxious and vulnerable pupils
  • school refusers, school phobics and young carers
  • pupils unable to attend school for medical reasons
  • any pupils moving into the LA (casual admissions) who are unable to find a school place because of insufficiency of school places within the LA
  • children who, because of entering public care or moving placement, require a change of school place and are unable to gain access to a school place
  • asylum seekers and refugees who have no school place
  • pupils with statements of special educational need whose placements are not yet agreed, and pupils awaiting assessment of learning difficulties and/or disabilities.

Constitution

TITLE

The title of the organisation shall be ‘The National Organisation for PRUs and Alternative Providers in England and Wales’ – prusap.org.uk

FINANCE
  1. A finance sub-committee of 6 members, including the Treasurer, shall be formed from the Executive Committee to meet 3 times a year prior to the Committee meetings. Its objective is to advise the full Executive Committee of the financial health of the organisation.
  2. The financial year of the Organisation shall end on the 31st March each year and a properly audited balance sheet shall be prepared for presentation a the Annual General Meeting.
  3. The Executive Committee shall have the power to authorise payment from the Organisation’s fund for any expense incurred on behalf of the Organisation.
  4. All monies kept by, or on behalf of, the Organisation shall be regularly paid into the banking account to be kept in the name of the Organisation by the Organisation’s bankers, Lloyds TSB, and no monies shall be paid by, or on behalf of, the organisation except by cheque, signed by the signatories as delineated in 5 (iv) above.

SUBSCRIPTIONS
  1. Subscriptions for individual, group and associate membership will be set at the Annual General Meeting of the Organisation for the following financial year.
  2. The amount of subscription shall be determined from time to time by the Annual General Meeting acting upon the advice of the Executive Committee.
  3. The subscription year shall run from Sept 1st to August 31st, annually.
AIMS AND OBECTS OF THE ORGANISATION

The objects of the Organisation are as follows [not in rank order]:-

  • Provide support, advice and signposting for teachers, leaders and all staff in PRUs and registered alternative provision settings
  • To be an advocate for vulnerable young people across all phases of education
  • To consult practitioners in order to present views and information to the DfE, Ofsted and other policy making bodies
  • Promote the work of PRUs and the registered alternative provision sector at national level
  • identify and discuss common issues and disseminate relevant information
  • identify and share best practice
  • promote multi-agency strategies and approaches
  • increase professional development opportunities for staff working in PRUs and registered alternative providers
  • provide opportunities for staff in PRUs and registered alternative providers to self-evaluate their work
  • provide a means of consulting staff working in PRUs and registered alternative providers’ regarding future government policy and practice in this area
  • provide more effective opportunities for PRU and registered alternative providers’ staff to negotiate improvement in their working conditions
  • encourage the development of creative and innovative approaches in working with young people with a range of complex social, emotional, behavioural and medical and mental health needs
MEMBERSHIP
  1. Membership shall be open to all individuals working in, or with, Pupil Referral Units and registered alternative providers.
  2. Group membership shall be open to all registered Pupil Referral Units and registered alternative providers.
  3. The Executive can co-opt members onto the Committee by a simple majority vote of the Executive Committee.
  4. The Executive Committee of the Organisation may require the resignation of any individual or group member of the Organisation whose conduct is in the opinion of the Executive Committee of the Organisation, to be prejudicial or detrimental to the good name of the Organisation or to the attainment of its aims.
  5. Associate Membership shall be open to other associations with similar aims and objectives as agreed by a simple majority vote of the Executive.
POWER TO AFFILIATE WITH OTHER BODIES
  1. In furtherance of the aims and objects of the Organisation, the Executive Committee shall be empowered to affiliate with other bodies, subject to ratification at the next Annual General Meeting after the decision has been taken.
MEETINGS
  1. There will be an Annual General Meeting of the National Organisation.
  2. The Executive Committee will meet at least four times a year between AGMs.
  3. A quorum of the Executive Committee shall consist of one third of the members entitled to attend.
  4. An Emergency General Meeting of the Organisation may be called by notification, in writing, to the Secretary of the Organisation. There shall be no fewer than 10 signatories to such a request. An EGM must be held within 14 days of receipt of such a request.
VOTING
  1. All voting shall be by a simple majority of a show of hands of those present who are entitled to vote.
  2. Executive decisions can be taken via email by a simple majority to a proposed and seconded motion sent to Executive members by email through the Secretary and voted on by the Exec mailing list.

Book your place for the Annual Conference now!

Executive Committee

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Sarah Dove (Area: Kent)

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Jo Lawrence (Area: Suffolk)

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Angela Ransby (Area: Ipswich)

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Sharon Wilson (Area: Essex)

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Rachel Perkins (Area: Essex)

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Jo Barak (Area: Essex)

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Phil Hutchinson (North East Lincolnshire)

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Rob Gasson (Area: South West)

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Steve Deadman (Area: Leicester)

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Stephen Pritchard-Jones (Area: Walsall)

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Steve Phillips (Area: Essex)

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Kayzer Izard (Area: Wandsworth)

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Andy Stewart (Area: Chester)

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Lauren Bartle (Area: Oxford)

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Annie Blackmore (Area: Barking & Dagenham)

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Amy Smith (Area: Surrey)

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Emily Carr (Area: Stockton on Tees)

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Matt Morris (Area: North-East)

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Jo Kelly (Area: Barnet)

A short history of PRUsAP.org.uk

The ‘National Organisation for PRUs’ Steering Group’ was established in November 2002 with a remit to formally establish an association within a year. There were 17 people from different types of PRUs and services in England on the Steering Group. On 23rd October 2003 the Steering Group met at the London Institute of Education to discuss the constitution of the organisation. The formal organisation was launched at the 5th Annual Conference for PRUs in Staffordshire in July 2004. All PRUs in England and Wales are eligible to join the association and contribute to its policy and work. With your help, prus.org.uk will provide a collective voice in the future for PRUs and influence debate and policy in the area.

The first National Conference for PRUs, took place in November 2000 in the London Borough of Wandsworth and was organised by Francis Barber PRU. Since then there has been a conference every year. It is hoped that we will continue to provide the national PRU conferences as a forum where PRUs can celebrate their diversity and good practice.

In 2013, to reflect the changes being made by the Coalition Government, prus.org.uk became prusap.org.uk. This constitutional change widened the scope of the organisation to include Alternative Provision, Free Schools and AP Academies.

As PRUsAP.org.uk has limited resources at its disposal we encourage all PRU and Alternative Provision staff to join the organisation, visit the website regularly and subscribe to prutalk (this is free of charge) in order to keep in touch with what is going on.

Our Purpose

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PRUs do an excellent job with 69% of PRUs being graded outstanding or good by OfSTED. Unfortunately much good work is undermined by negative stereotyping and labels in the press like ‘sin bins’.

OFSTED

briefing to inspectors on PRUs 2009

Conference

PRUsAP warmly invites staff working with and in Pupil Referral Units and Alternative Education, to book a place at our Annual Conference, to be held at The Jury’s Inn, Birmingham on 5th July 2019.

The day will be full of inspiring and engaging keynotes and workshops covering issues including:

Ofsted – relevant to PRUs and AP

Supporting children with health and behavioural needs accessing Education

Effective Teaching and Learning within PRUs and AP

Click on this link to book your place.

Early bird price £90 per person

Price will increase to £110 in April

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We will be in contact